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Jets win 1st-ever boys regional hoops championship | News, Sports, Jobs


Mar 17, 2023

The Jeffers Jets pose immediately after winning the Division four Area 13 championship. Group members incorporate Chase Kinnunen, Levi Frahm, Brett Stevens, Ashton Kunishige, Tavin Larson, Damien Heikkinen, Matthew Schutz, Lincol Just, Malaki Mattila, and Landon Larson. They are coached by John Schutz and Trent Keteri. (Ron Mattson/For the Gazette)

NEGAUNEE — The Jeffers Jets came into the game as a decided favored, because it was the No. 1 group amongst MHSAA Division four boys basketball schools in the Upper Peninsula.

The Jets left the similar way immediately after posting a 79-31 win more than Stephenson in the Division four Area 13 championship game played Wednesday evening at Negaunee’s Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium.

Jeffers now enters its 1st-ever state quarterfinal game on an eight-game winning streak with a 25-1 record, its only loss at Division two Escanaba in overtime about a month ago.

“We surely worked difficult for it, we wanted this in the starting of the year and hopefully we can retain on going right here,” Jets coach John Schutz mentioned. “The season was just awesome.

“We began off … (winning) like 13 or 14 games in a row and we’re back on that streak now, and that is what’s impressive about these guys. They do not want to quit but, they want to retain going.”

Jeffers’ Ashton Kunishige functions about Stephenson defenders Ethan Anderson, suitable, and Spencer Coldren through the Division four Area 13 championship game Wednesday at the Lakeview Memorial Health club in Negaunee. (Ron Mattson/For the Gazette)

Stephenson, meanwhile, finishes at 16-ten immediately after obtaining its personal six-game victory streak snapped.

The Jets took more than the No. 1 spot about midseason in the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association weekly basketball poll. It is each intriguing and most likely was anticipated that the group it took more than that mantle from, Munising, will be its subsequent opponent in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday suitable back at the Negaunee venue.

The winner of that game heads south to Michigan State University in East Lansing for the early semifinal at five:30 p.m. Thursday. Then that winner advances to the state championship contest, also set for MSU, at ten a.m. on Saturday, March 25.

Back on Wednesday, stars of the game had been, without the need of a doubt, Jeffers senior Ashton Kunishige, who scored 26 points, and junior Levi Frahm with 22. Kunishige bombed in 5 three-pointers even though Frahm and teammate Lincoln Just, who completed with 13 points, each and every had 3 triples.

In all, the Jets dropped in 13 treys, which accounted for just a shade below half of their complete point total.

“We have 4 guys averaging double figures … one particular guy does not score for us all the time, so that is what’s great about this group,” Schutz mentioned. “They share the ball properly. You never ever know who’s going to go off any offered evening.”

For Stephenson, Spencer Coldren and Zach Schwartz shared group scoring honors with eight points apiece as teammate Owen Kuehnau had 5. They had to do it without the need of advantage of a single three-pointer.

The game began with Stephenson winning the initial tipoff, but they had been unable to retain possession.

Frahm was the key offensive threat to begin items off for Jeffers, as he scored 15 points in just the 1st eight minutes, a total that their opponents required most of the 1st half to obtain.

With tension higher for each head coaches and each and every fan base, cheers had been exchanged as the 1st period came to a close. Stephenson supporters shouted, “You can not do that!” to which Jeffers fans replied with, “We just did it,” eliciting an even louder “We can not hear you,” from the Eagles’ side.

Regardless of their shouts, the Jets took firm handle with a 24-9 edge immediately after one particular quarter.

Jeffers dropped in a different 19 points in the second quarter to retain a massive lead at halftime. Kunishige stepped up in this period and dominated offensively, creating halfcourt passes to his teammates even though scoring nine points himself then.

Practically 3 minutes into the second, the Jets had tripled up on the Eagles, 33-11, and nonetheless had a healthful 43-20 lead at halftime as Stephenson couldn’t resolve Jeffers’ extended-variety shooters.

In the third, Kunishige went massive once more in the scoring column with 11 points, lots of them assisted by teammate Tavin Larson as they kept a massive 67-25 lead. Larson completed the evening with nine points, also.

It was a cakewalk to the final buzzer as the Jets got to lift their regional championship trophy, a 1st for the Painesdale college.

“That’s the 1st time we ever won this for the college, so it is surely history for us tonight,” Schutz mentioned about Jeffers’ 1st-ever regional championship. “So fascinating, the boys just appreciate it. It is an impressive evening tonight for us.

“These boys have been playing collectively because fifth grade, this is what we’ve been waiting for because then, so it is just a wonderful evening for these guys and I’m satisfied for them.”


JHS  24  19  24  12 – 79

SHS  9  11  5  6 – 31

JHS – Kinnunen 1–two, Frahm 9-1-22, Kunishige 9-three-26, Larson four–9, Heikkinen 1–two, Schutz two–five, Just five–13. Totals 31-four-79.

SHS – Kuehnau two-1-five, Brown two–four, Coldron three-two-eight, Schwartz four–eight, B. Kase two–four, Anderson 1–two. Totals 14-three-31.

FG shooting: unavailable FT shooting: Jeffers four of five (80 %), Stephenson three of 9 (33.three %) Rebounding: unavailable.

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